Youth Alliance: Walsall 3 Port Vale 1

Walsall Under-18s were back in EFL Youth Alliance (North West) action on Saturday morning as they played host to Port Vale at Ray Hall Lane.
The young Saddlers are managed by former Sheffield Wednesday defender Miguel Llera, had enjoyed a good start to their Alliance campaign having won four of their seven pre-Port Valeoutings - netting nineteen goals without reply in the process.

Llera's side sat fifth in the North West section with a few games in hand over many of the teams around them after several of their recent league and Alliance Cup games were called off thanks to the inclement weather.

Opponents Port Vale had endured a dismal campaign so far and sit one place above the bottom of the table after losing five of their seven Alliance outings. The Young Valiants arrived at this weekend's clash on the back of a six-nil Alliance Cup defeat at the hands of Blackpool.

Walsall XI: Rogerson; Sharp, Lynch, S.Perry, Foulkes, J.Perry, Moss, Stephens, Pearce, Campbell, McSkeane

Substitutes: Walker; Walton, Francis, Mukadam, Sarvari

The young Saddlers started the game well and were keen to push their opponents up the pitch as they sought to assert their dominance in the opening stages of the contest. Although Vale weren't happy to just sit back and would create opportunities of their own.

Walsall were rewarded with the first goal of the contest with around nine minutes on the clock. Jack Lynch finding Alex McSkeane in space with a great pass down the wing before the forward cut inside his man before beating the 'keeper at his near post.

Both teams went in search of the second goal of the game and it was ultimately the Valiants who would hit the back of the net as Ammar Dyer was able to slip the ball past Dominic Rogerson in the Walsall goal. A little too much time at the back post allowing Dyer to pounce.

Walsall didn't allow their visitors to settle after their equaliser and went back into the lead just three minutes later as Sam Perry unleashed a superb free-kick past the 'keeper to reestablish his team's one goal lead.

The Saddlers continued to push for more goals with a Romani Stephens effort among those to go unrewarded, but ultimately went into the break with a one-goal lead, although it wasn't for the want of trying, a superb first-half display from Llera's lads who deserved to be further ahead at the break.

The second-half saw Port Vale push for another equaliser as the Saddlers' backline remained alert, Kyle Sharp among those to prevent the visitors from making more of their time on  the ball.

The Saddlers had to be patient for the opening twenty minutes or so but were ultimately rewarded for their patience as shortly after a couple of chances had gone begging they were able to extend their lead as Perry Moss slammed the ball home with a header.

There were no further goals as the Reds went on to make all of their substitutions with the manager using the final stages of the match as an opportunity to consider his options as they went on to secure all three points.

Another strong display from Walsall who have really found their feet over recent weeks. Manager Llera will no doubt be delighted as they secure a welcome and deserved win.

3 - 1
McSkeane (9')
S.Perry (23')
Moss (65')
Dyer (20')

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